Worawi sets June 17 as election date (21/05/2011)

An election for Football Association of Thailand president will be held on June 17, incumbent president Worawi Makudi said yesterday.

Speaking at a press conference, Worawi said he had appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to overturn a Fifa ruling which booted out Thailand from the current Olympic qualifying.

He also claimed he had achievements to prove his management ability but has been "bullied" by "envious" people.

He said a new date of the FAT election was set for June 17 at the National Football Development Centre in Nong Chok after the original poll on May 6 was called off.

At that time, Worawi said he and other members of FAT executive board decided to postpone the election because some member clubs were represented by more than one voter, amid reports that he could be defeated.

Worawi said yesterday the FAT had formally asked member clubs to name their voters who must be approved by the Sports Authority of Thailand (SAT).

There are 173 voters who include 19 members of the FAT executive board. Apart from Worawi, former Thai Port FC chairman Pichate Munkong and former national team manager Virach Chanpanich will stand in the election.

Worawi said he had lodged an appeal with the CAS for the court to allow Thailand to continue playing in the Olympic qualifying for the 2012 Games.

World soccer governing body Fifa has banned Thailand from competing in the Olympic qualifying after the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) claimed that Thailand used a suspended player in a previous match.

Thailand defeated Palestine on penalties after a 2-2 draw over two legs. In the first leg in Bangkok, Thailand fielded Sujarit Jantakol who the AFC said was suspended during a U20 match in 2008.

Thailand argued that Sujarit had served his suspension because he was in the Thai squad for the 2010 Asian Games but did not play.

The AFC then claimed the football tournament at the Asian Games was not sanctioned by the AFC.

Worawi said yesterday he had talked to AFC president Mohamed Bin Hammam who admitted the football event at the Asiad was supervised by the AFC.

"We should know a CAS ruling in 10 days. In my opinion, there is a high chance of Thailand returning to the Olympic qualifying," he said.

Worawi also used this occasion to attack his opponents.

"I don't want to have enemies but a group of people have bullied and attacked me only because our national team lost," he said.

"If I do not look after the association or the national team, then you can criticise me. I have tried my best to look after the national team. But you can get any result in football.

"Our football league has made progress in recent years and this could affect the preparations of the national team because the players will have less time to train with the national team.

"I believe that in the next one or two years, our system will become effective."

On criticism that he has not had an achievements, Worawi argued that he guided Thailand to the semi-finals at the 2002 Asian Games and to the final qualifying round for the 2002 World Cup.

At that time, he was FAT secretary-general.

"This is proof that I have worked hard for Thai football. I am not disheartened. Athough I have been bullied by envious people, I am accepted on the international stage," said Worawi, who is a Fifa executive member .

Source : http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/sports/238088/worawi-sets-june-17-as-election-date